Healthy Food Systems

Advancing Local and Regional Food Systems

Opportunities to Grow Resilient, Equitable Communities 2.0

Wednesday, January 28 – 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Accredited by: CM 5.5


The 2015 New Partners Conference will again feature an optional pre-conference workshop on healthy, equitable food systems, to be held on Wednesday, January 28. Building on last year’s workshop, this 2.0 version will further inspire and equip participants to advance local and regional food systems aligned with smart-growth objectives and strategies. How can these food production, processing or distribution activities create economic opportunities, foster environmental sustainability and promote community health? How are urban, rural and suburban communities working to improve food access for their most vulnerable residents? What partnerships and resources have enabled successful planning, implementation and evaluation efforts?

Grassroots advocates, policymakers and government staff, researchers, planners, funders and other public and private stakeholders will explore these issues through an expanded agenda with additional time for networking and smaller group discussions. The program will showcase examples from the Baltimore-DC region alongside leaders from across the country.

Includes lunch, coffee break and a post-workshop reception. Pre-registration and a $45 fee are required.

claremont-farmers-marketMade possible by the generous support provided by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Food & Community program, Local Government Commission, AARP Foundation, Princes Trust, The Horizon Foundation, Town Creek Foundation, and the United Way of Central Maryland.


Additional speakers will be added – watch this page for updates!


Wednesday – Workshop Program

11:00 – 12:15 AM

Opening Session

Baltimore’s comprehensive food-system planning, policy and partnership efforts are known as a national model. The workshop will kick off with an introduction to our host city, featuring diverse perspectives of those working to shape and implement its vision for a sustainable local food system.


Baltimore’s Food System Vision


Marc Steiner, Host, Sound Bites & The Marc Steiner Show


Anne Palmer, Program Director, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Holly Freishtat, Food Policy Director, City of Baltimore

Willie Flowers, Executive Director, Park Heights Community Health Alliance

Walker Marsh, Founder & Owner, Tha Flower Factory

12:15 – 1:15 PM

Networking Lunch

1:15 – 2:30 PM


Promoting equitable food access can be a priority in communities of all types, from inner cities to rural areas. These sessions will explore efforts to dismantle food access barriers in different community contexts.

Empowering Healthy Choices in Urban Communities


Kate Fitzgerald, Consultant, Fitzgerald·Canepa, LLC


Lauren Shweder Biel, Executive Director, DC Greens

Miriam Manon, Senior Associate, The Food Trust

Mobile Markets, Hubs & Spokes: Innovations in Food Distribution


Rosimar Melendez, Senior Staff Associate, The Horizon Foundation


Christine Bergmark, Executive Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission

Kelly Dudeck, Food Policy Director, Howard County Maryland

Rebecca Baran-Rees, Project Director, Santa Fe Community Foundation

Community Organizing for Equitable Food Access


Rebecca Nagle, Coordinator, No Boundaries Coalition (invited)

Melissa Kelly, Heath Chair, No Boundaries Coalition (invited)

Shauen Pearce, Executive Director, Harrison Neighborhood Association

2:30 – 2:45 PM

Coffee Break

2:45 AM – 4:00 PM


Plans, policies and programs related to local and regional food systems can also promote smart growth objectives and strategies. These sessions will look at opportunities to advance social equity, economic development and environmental sustainability while also addressing the demand and supply of healthy food.

Applying an Equity Analysis: Putting Intent into Action


Tom McDougall, President, 4P Foods


Autumn Saxton-Ross, Program Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Vanessa Briggs, Managing Director, Health Promotion, Public Health Management Corporation & Executive Director, Health Promotion Council

Mary Lee, Deputy Director, PolicyLink

Supporting Sustainable Food Systems Through Land Use Planning & Policy


Meredith Lathbury Girard, Senior Program Officer, Town Creek Foundation


Sandi Olek, Natural Resource Planner, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Ann Jones, Executive Director, Baltimore County Land Trust Alliance

Marisa Jones, Assistant Program Manager, Institute for Public Health Innovation

Good Food Jobs


Yanique Redwood, President & CEO, Consumer Health Foundation


Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College

David Zuckerman, Research Associate, Democracy Collaborative

4:15 – 5:30 PM

Closing Session

Participants will reconvene for a closing plenary where, following a recap of breakout session highlights, leaders with grasstops to grassroots perspectives will share their approaches and motivations for supporting local and regional food systems. What does it mean to invest in this movement and where can we go from here?

Reflections on Breakout Sessions


Kate Fitzgerald, Kate Fitzgerald Consulting


Elanor Starmer, National Coordinator & Advisor for Local and Regional Food Systems, US Department of Agriculture

Celeste James, Director, Community Health Initiatives, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College

Simran Noor, Director of Policy and Strategy, Center for Social Inclusion

5:30 – 7:30 PM

Networking Reception

Continue your conversations over light refreshments and a cash bar for workshop participants.



Policymaker Workshop

Special Features

Get details on optional workshops, networking activities, special events, and other conference features.

Equitable Development

Healthy Food Systems

Speacial Features

It’s exciting that Baltimore is the site of this year’s New Partners conference because in many ways it is the embodiment of the long evolution of equitable development and the inclusion of environmental justice in these important disciplines – a fitting setting to continue that work by focusing on real-world implementation of equity and justice in the development of our communities.

Matthew Tejada
Director - Office of Environmental Justice Environmental Protection Agency